The employees want to return to the office


Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Paris in 2020, the parents are working from home with their two sons.

Xavier Laine | Getty Images News | Getty Images

People have changed their minds about working from home since the coronavirus led to office closings last year, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said during a conference call with analysts Tuesday. At first, people liked their new, dispersed arrangements, but now some people are longing to be back at work, he said.

Cisco, with its network switches, phones, and Wi-Fi access points installed in corporate locations, is one of those companies that can benefit from a widespread return to the office. The state of the pandemic remains flux and Robbins’ words convey the lack of certainty about the consequences and how it will affect business.

“I think we got into a phase where people are actually fighting mentally, who are people – they don’t enjoy it,” said Robbins.

Just as Robbins speaks to customers regularly, he also communicates with Cisco employees. On the phone call, he brought some input that he had recently received to clarify his point of view.

“One of our employees said to me the other day, ‘I don’t mind working from home. I don’t like being forced to work from home,'” he said.

Cisco employees have different pressures to deal with. After Cisco reported three-quarters of the decline in revenue from business challenges in August, Cisco, once the world’s most valuable company, announced a cost-cutting program that included voluntary early retirement. Some Cisco employees in Australia and New Zealand have returned to their offices, while in North America employees will not be returning until at least mid-summer, a spokesman said.

Robbins has his own vision of the role of the office outside of Cisco.

“I really believe that when people work from home it will be hybrid, and everyone ends up here working from home three days a week and working from the office two days a week and vice versa,” he said . “The question is what accommodations this will lead to for customers based on employee concerns about space issues, concerns about future pandemics, or other concerns. We just don’t know that yet.”

Tech companies are increasingly promising greater flexibility in remote working when the pandemic ends. On Tuesday, Salesforce announced that the majority of its employees would work on a “flexible” schedule of one to three days in the office per week, while Twitter and Dropbox have told employees that they can work from home permanently.

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